I recently purchased a Marlin X7 youth model in 7mm-08 for my Grandson's first hunting rifle. I had researched several brands of rifles that featured a youth style shorter stock that would fit my grandson. Based on the looks of the Marlin and the reports of good accuracy I settled on buying the Marlin via Davidison's Gallery of Guns. I was able to get it for $377.00 at a local gun shop listed by the gallery of guns.
After getting it home, I removed the forearm barrel pressure points and free floated the barrel and glass bedded the action. I used Winchester short action M-70 Leupold bases and rings and installed a new Burris 2X7 full field scope. I made up five different reduced power loads that I kept to a velocity of 2500 fps to find a practice load for my grandson. I also made up a max load just over 2800 fps that could be used as a deer hunting load.
The loads consisted of Sierra Pro-hunter 140 gr. SP. bullets and 5 different powders. All loads had a OAL of 2.800 and worked perfectly in feeding. The reduced load using IMR-4350 produced a 3 shot group at 100 yards that measured 1.1 inches. That load will be his practice load.
The big surprise was the full powered load consisting of the Sierra 140 gr. bullet and a max load of H4895 powder. That 3 shot group at 100 yards measure .495 in size and that will be his deer and antelope load. The scope has lower cross hairs that go out to 500 yards and with the load I had the 400 plex was supposed to be dead on at that range. I observed a plastic water bottle on the 400 yard berm glinting in the sun. I put the 400 yard plex on the bottle and had the pleasure to see it jump by a hit while using a bench rest for shooting.
Needless to say, I also can now state that the Marlin X7 has proven to be a super accurate rifle with very reasonable cost. I know my grandson will love it when he gets it for his Christmas present. In the meantime, grandpa will play with it some more. I now have to work up a hog hunting load using 140 gr. Nosler Partitions for those hogs this spring.
Your gradson is a lucky lad to have a grandpa like you.
Your Grandson can grow right into that rifle, and when the time comes a new stock from Boyds will be perfect when he is ready. Very nice Post.
336C 30 WCF Big Buck Killer and Accurate ! 1981
Glenny 30A 30 WCF 1980
336 ADL 32 Special 1949
336SC 32 special 1952
336CS 35 Rem 1990 my favorite !
336A 35 Rem 1950
336 RC 35 Rem 1968
336 SC 35 Rem 1953
Beautiful Wife who Supports my Habits ! -1961
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Good for you. You and your Grandson should enjoy this Rifle for years to come.
I also have a XS7-7/08 and love the Rifle. This Rifles capabilities and greater than the one pulling the trigger for sure.
I have found a handload with Sierra 140gr work very well.
I always like to see and hear of grandfathers / fathers taking the time to take the kids hunting and shooting.
...its not a collection if you only have one....
mrbofis; Thanks for the nice comments. Sorry I do not think I can afford another grandkid and supply all of them with firearms. I get more of a kick seeing my sons or grandkids making a good shot and taking game then I would if I shot it myself. I am really looking forward to the pig hunt with my 12 year old grandson. It will be his first big game hunt. To make sure he is ready for it, I am teaching him more on using field shooting positions and he must be capable of putting three shots into a 5 inch circle at 100 yards using field shooting positions, not bench rest. His shooting yardage limit will be confined to that criteria of 3 shots in a 5 inch circle for a humane shot on game animals.
He has been shooting a 22 rimfire for many years and is a very good shot with it. He is also a excellant shot with a pistol. One day we were shooting with my Ruger 44 spec. that is loaded with a 255 gr. "Keith" cast lead bullet at 1000 fps. I threw a golf ball about 20 yards into the field and shot at it. Must of pulled the shot as I hit just beside it. The grandkid asked if he could shoot the 44 and I gave it to him. First time for him with that gun. He took careful aim and knocked that golfball about 25 yards down range with a perfect center shot.
The little fart went into the house and with a big grin on his face told his grandmother that he had just out shot his grandpa!
Yea! it is fun teaching them and making sure they learn good safe firearms handling so that it is always a fun deal.
Once again I think it is great that you are spending the time to teach the youngsters safe, proper and ethical hunting and shooting practices.
Best wishes to you Sir!
...its not a collection if you only have one....
Your Grandson is very lucky! Very nice setup. Quality equipment lasts a long time. I like your choice, 7mm-08 is a superb cartridge.
Jumping to big game centerfire is a big step if he's a young shooter. 140 @ 2500 fps is nothing to shake a stick at. 120 gr is also a popular weight for 7mm-08, should back it off a little more. Reduced 120's are more than enough to put down game with a case of long distance lead poisoning.
Mr Hatfield, enjoyed reading your post, as I shoot a 7MM08 X gun, bloodied it last week on a S.C. eight pt. Bang, flop,DRT. Mine also loves 4895, as well as 4064, and Hornady 139 Interlocks,are extremly accurate, and deadly also!! Sounds like you're enjoying your (loaner) X gun, and I expect the Grandson will enjoy it, as well!! Best to you both, T REX
Way to go there Mr Hatfield. Passing on a time honored tradition...
Team .30-30 # 390
Old Pharts # 45
Florida Marlin Owners
Marlin 1973, & a 2003 .30-30's.
Glenfield 1977, .30-30.
If you come to take my guns, you better bring your own...